SWFL Real Estate Has Another Positive Month in November
SWFL real estate maintained a moderate, steady market improvement in November. Cape Coral average home prices increased by $9,000 and sales numbers were about the same as last November. Inventory did increase to six months, which is a welcome neutral level, but home inventory is likely to start dropping now that high season and Snowbird buyers are upon us.
January’s year-end report will come out later than normal because we need all final 2018 real estate numbers, which can take a few weeks
We Sell More Than Cape Coral Gulf-Access Homes
Recently it has come to our attention that for various reasons (including that www.CapeWaterfrontLiving is the title of our website) there’s the impression that we sell only Cape Coral gulf-access homes. Although we do sell many gulf-access homes & lots in the Cape, we also sell many other types of properties in SWFL.
Recently we sold some off-water, gulf-access, and freshwater condos & lots and off-water homes in the Cape. Additionally, we and our highly knowledgeable associate Lisa sold three Ft Myers homes, a Ft Myers Beach waterfront home and a Bonita oceanfront condo.
Sue: we take responsibility and apologize for this misconception. Be assured that if you or any of your referrals are interested in any type of property in SW Florida we will provide you with the same top-notch service and expertise that our Cape Coral waterfront clients receive. If by chance we can’t properly represent you (i.e. commercial or industrial property) we will recommend you to a professional that we trust. We would never take on a real estate transaction in which we can’t uphold our reputation and integrity.
We can't thank you enough for enabling us to have another great sales year, and we truly appreciate the many referrals you sent our way this year. Your business and complimentary reviews helped us retain our #1 Realtor ranking on Angie's List in SWFL (out of 15,000 Realtors) and to be in the top 3% of Realtors in the country. We don't take your trust and loyalty lightly and we promise to not let up.
Chiquita Boat Lock Removal: Status Up in the Air
The city first applied for permits to have the Chiquita Boat Lock dismantled in July 2015, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has finally approved the removal of the lock. The City of Cape Coral originally installed the lock in the 1980s to manage stormwater runoff but with water quality improvement projects, the DEP has determined it is safe to remove the lock. During high-season it can sometimes take up to an hour to pass through the lock.
At the time of installation, the city believed there could be leaching from septic tanks and runoff from pesticides that flow into the waters. The city has since done many things that have mitigated the environmental impacts to the water, and septic tanks have been replaced with city sewer.
Environmentalists argue that removing the lock could harm sea life like manatees and sawfish, but after several studies, the project is scheduled to move forward. Tom: we have heard from many of our SW Cape waterfront clients that they favor having the lock removed, and from only a few that prefer for the lock to remain (but be improved and/or enlarged) The enlargement/improvement would be more costly and require another substantial delay due to new permitting. Now is the time to let city officials know your feelings either way.
Snowbirds Arriving Early
Likely due to the early onset of winter cold and snow up north, our roadways are filling up much sooner than normal with our beloved snowbirds. You will need to get to your favorite restaurants or the beaches a little earlier than a few months ago. A fair number of the out-of-state visitors are here to buy real estate before high-season prices set in.
Facts & Stats
More Buyers Reaching for ARM’s in High-Priced Markets: According to CoreLogic, more buyers in expensive metros are turning to adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM’s) to curb costs. When CoreLogic conducted the report in August, ARM’s accounted for 51% of mortgages higher than $1 million. Among mortgages between $400 K and $1 million the ARM share was 21%, and only 7% in the $200 - $400 K home range.
Lee County Unemployment Under 3%: Surprisingly, Lee County’s unemployment rate was a very low 2.9% in October. The area used to experience a drop in the workforce during the summer/fall months due to lower tourism. Lee County added 10,600 jobs in the last year, with the highest growth in the construction field. Amazon will be adding 450 more jobs in early 2019 when they bring an Amazon Center to Ft Myers. The pay scale will be $15 - $16 per hour, with part-time work available with full benefits.
As long-time residents have observed, our little Paradise is no longer strictly a winter vacation destination (and it's not so little anymore). More people are choosing SWFL as their full-time residence, especially retiring Baby Boomers. Florida’s unemployment rate is at 3.4%, the lowest since January 2007.
Housing Permits Rise Dramatically in SW Florida: Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties are on track to see a more than 23% increase in home permits in 2018. Tom: Cape Coral has an even higher permit increase than the rest of SWFL, which we’ll report the tally in our year-end report in January.
Student Loan Debt Hurts Home Sales: NeighborWorks America reports that consumers drowning in student loan debt is delaying their purchase of a home – a concern most often faced by women and millennials. Student loan debt has climbed 130% since 2008. It now surpasses $1.5 trillion and makes up 42% of all consumer debt. A National Association of Realtors report found that 83% of non-homeowners cited student debt as the chief factor delaying them from buying a home.
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More Accolades Heaped On Cape Coral And Ft Myers - Cape Population Likely To Reach 200,000 Full-Time Residents In 2019 - FL Ranks 4th In U.S. For High-Earners And Affluent Families
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Chiquita Boat Lock Update - 2018 Property Tax Rates Released - 95% Likelihood Home Prices Will Rise Over Next Two Years
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